When to Buy Car Seat During Pregnancy?

Welcome to our guide on when to buy car seat during pregnancy!

Pregnancy can be a nerve-wrecking experience. You have to deal with mood swings, cravings, baby kicks and whatnot.  But among all these you have to decide when to buy a cat seat for your newborn baby.

So, Exactly when to buy a car seat during pregnancy?

The ideal time is 3 weeks before the delivery. By then, you can install the car seat in your car and check if it’s working properly. If anything’s wrong, you will have ample time to find the right one.

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When to Buy Car Seat During Pregnancy

Ideally, expectant mothers should get a car seat about three weeks before their due date. Many parents don’t think this through beforehand and get an infant car seat after the baby arrives.

And by doing that, they put themselves in a stressful situation. They have to learn to use the seat and install it while being under pressure of getting the newborn home. Not an ideal situation for learning.

Worse, due to stress, the seat might not get installed correctly, leading to an accident with the baby. In contrast, if you plan ahead and buy the infant car seat early, you can watch videos on youtube on installation and try it yourself to see if things work out.

This way when the time comes to take your fragile baby to your home, you’ll be well-prepared for the task.


What Things to Consider for Newborn Car Seat?

Here’s our guide with detailed tips for you to choose the best car seat your new baby.

Type of Car Seat

There are 2 types of car seats that you can choose from- infant car seats and convertible car seats. Infant car seat is perfect for newborns as it ensures safety for these tiniest passengers.

In addition, you also get compatibility with strollers making traveling far easier for you.

But if you’re into long-term planning and looking for a seat that will not only take care of your baby during the infant stage but also be a support system when the child grows into a toddler, get a convertible car seat.

A convertible car seat is extremely versatile as its starts as a rear-facing car seat but later can be transformed into a forward-facing car seat or even a booster seat. That way, you can save money and keep your baby safe as well.



You need to examine the baby’s car seat thoroughly. If you don’t know how to check car seat safety, you can take it to a car seat inspection station and see if it’s a good fit for your infant.

The child seat must meet the federal safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and have a great safety rating. Also, check if it has a label that says that the seat is tested and certified.



Read the instruction manual of the car properly. There you will find info about latch systems, seat belt systems, and ideal seating positions for a car seat.

Also, measure the back seat area and consider the available space in front. You can also go through the manufacturer’s website to see if the infant car seat will fit your car model. Considering all these things will help you get compatibility right.

Also, try to get a rear-facing seat that fits more than one car as the baby may need to travel in other vehicles.


Side-Impact Protection

Most cars get hit on the side. So, it’s an important factor that the car seat has some sort of side-impact protection, such as extra padding or impact-absorbing material to protect your baby’s head and neck.


Reputation of the Brands

Buying from well-established car seats brands like Gracco, Chicco, and Maxi Cosi is prudent as they tend to focus on safety. Also, the reputed car seat manufacturers spend heavily on R&D to come up with child seats that excel all the safety requirements.

In terms of materials and durability, they are more reliable than nameless brands. Emphasis is also given on easy installation to help adopt wider use among the customer base.



Infant car seats get dirty quickly, and dirt can have a negative impact on your child’s health. That’s why you would want a car seat with a seat cover that is machine washable and easily removable.


Tips for Choosing and Using the Appropriate Car Seat

Safety is the top priority when it comes to choosing and using the appropriate car seat for your child. Follow the recommended tips and avoid any potential hazards to ensure your child is properly protected while traveling in a car.

  • Ensure the chosen car seat is appropriate for your child’s age and meets the height and weight limit
  • You may want to avoid using any accessories that do not come with the car seat. These products may include dangling toys or even car seat covers that have not been in a safety inspection.
  • Use car seats only for traveling and do not let your baby continue to sleep for a very long period in them.


Can I Buy a Secondhand Car Seat?

I’d strongly caution against buying a used car seat. Even though it may look perfect from the outside, it still may have issues that can compromise safety and risk the baby’s life.

Moreover, a car seat is designed to survive one crash only. And if it has been involved in a crash, there is no way it should be used again.

So, not knowing the history of the seat acts as a huge risk to your child’s safety. One more reason to avoid a secondhand seat is it may not have labels on it. This may include the date of manufacture, the model number or even the expiration date.

Without all these, it’s impossible to know if the particular model meets the safety regulations or if it has recall notices. Also, the model number is often important to figure out the installation process.

You may use a secondhand car seat only if you are 100% sure of its history and if it comes with everything available including the manual and all the labels.

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!